A small village with a huge heart, the village of Adstock and its fundraising orchard Adstockistan have been committed supporters of our work for almost a decade. In 2015, Adstock's Jo and Tamsin Nicholson planted ‘Adstockistan’ on their farm, an orchard to celebrate their community and raise important funds for vulnerable farming communities in Afghanistan. 

Adstock supports Afghanaid because we know that every penny will be spent on projects that help the most vulnerable communities in Afghanistan. It has been working in the country for 40 years through various regimes and is a leader in delivering aid, setting up community projects and providing assistance for families fighting their way out of poverty. - Jo Nicholson

Now, eight years on and with a thriving orchard and newly built community hall, Adstockistan has gone from strength to strength, and has become a place for the whole village to come together to celebrate farming and agriculture both at home and in the remote farming communities of Afghanistan. Throughout Afghanistan, 80% of household incomes rely either wholly or partly on agriculture, which is why we work alongside rural communities to strengthen these livelihoods, supporting them in crop planting, irrigation and land management, livestock care and more. With successive droughts hampering back-to-back harvests, long-term agricultural support is needed more than ever to ensure families can feed themselves and earn a living. Adstock’s sustained support makes this work possible. 

Annual Events at Adstockistan Orchard


Every October, the people of Adstock take to the orchard for ‘Adstocktoberfest’; a celebration of apple-pressing, competitions and music which last year raised over £6,000 for Afghanaid. 

2022’s celebration saw six amazing bands perform, as well as a cider competition, an apple press, and even some activities including archery and axe-throwing! We can’t wait to see what next year brings.

Here are some photos of previous years' joyous events! 

The January Wassail

But the fun doesn't stop there. Every January the community shake off the Winter-blues with an annual wassail celebration. Wassailing is the ancient Anglo-Saxon custom of singing to the trees to promote a good harvest in the autumn.

The wassail is led by vicar Ros, who brings the community together among the trees to sing, dance and be merry in support of Afghanaid, with this year’s event including a terrific display by the local Morris dancing troupe. 

One key practice of an Apple Wassail is the ceremonial placing of slices of bread or toast, and the pouring of cider, over the branches of the apple trees. This tradition is said to bless the fruit trees in order to ensure a good harvest for the year ahead. 

In Adstock, not only do they perform this ritual to bless the apple trees of their own community, but also those of the farmers of Afghanistan, who have faced devastating droughts for the past three years. After a few Wassailing carols, the whole community makes as much noise as possible (a plethora of pots, pans, and wooden spoons!) to ward off any harmful spirits that may disrupt the growth of the orchard.

Did you know that apples are some of the most suitable fruits to grow in Afghanistan’s climate?

Find out more about the weather in Afghanistan

Community Support

The Adstock Singers

In December 2018 the Adstock community showed their amazing support for Afghanaid again when three choirs, the Adstock Singers, the Ladstock and the Swan Choir came together and held two festive concerts that explored the music enjoyed over the centuries at Christmas.

And they didn't stop there! To help us through our first 'pandemic Christmas', as we didn't want social distancing measures to prevent our supporters from singing along to some jolly carols, the Adstock singers helped us put together our first Virtual Carol Concert! You can watch the recording here:

Inspired by Adstock?

The community of Adstock inspire us every day, so we're not surprised if you've caught the fundraising bug by reading about their incredible efforts. If you'd like to support men, women and children in Afghanistan build a brighter future, reach out to our friendly fundraising team to see how you can get involved:

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